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Bought a used Santa Fe, wired around vacuum switch?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by bookpile, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. bookpile

    bookpile Member

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    I picked up a used 2004 Quadrafire Santa Fe yesterday. Seller stated that it worked fine.

    I hooked it up today and placed a handful of pellets into the burn pot. They ignited but the auger never sent new pellets down the chute. Reading the manual I reset Snap Disc #2 and the auger started working. I wonder if it got tripped just from moving it?

    But I noticed that the vacuum hose was unplugged from the switch and the two wires from the switch were disconnected and jumpered across. I checked the resistance on the switch with a vault meter and when the stove is running it does not have any resistance. So would that mean the switch is working correctly?

    When I lower the thermostat, the auger stopped feeding pellets and the stove shut down.

    Why would someone wire around a working switch? Should I leave it that way or wire it up correctly?

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  2. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If the switch circuit shows OPEN when the stove is shut down, then by all means wire it back up. You should be aware that on my two Quads, the LOW speed is marginal to keep the vacuum switch pulled in without a good draft from the exhaust gases. The blower alone won't create enough vacuum to reliably keep the switch pulled in. That's when they were both new! maybe the previous owner always ran it on low and had the problem. Not a good thing to bypass the switch though except for testing. It's a great way to kill yourself from CO poisoning. Get a CO detector, for sure.
  3. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    I'm curious what setting the control box is set to? You may be at a setting which is not working enough to holdthe vac switch closed. You may want to blow out the vac hose too. It may be clogged. These stoves are tested at great length to function as they are designed. Don't assume parts are supposed to be bypassed! Try sucking the switch closed and testing it. Baby asperators are great for this as you will avert ash in you mouth and it will hold the switch closed so you can fiddles with the multi meter.
  4. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    Just curious what you had to pay for a 2004 used Santa Fe? I've got a customer that is trying to sell one about that age so he can buy a new St. Croix.

    Thanks,
    AR
  5. bookpile

    bookpile Member

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    Yes the switch did show open with the stove off. The rope is not in the best shape on the door, I plan on replacing it, but that combined with running on low might have given them some problems. I'd feel better if everything were wired up the way it was supposed to be.

    I was only running the stove on high, I will try it on low tonight and see if that prevents the auger from working. The hose did seem to be pulling a vacuum when I put my finger over it, but I'll blow it out anyway.

    As far as price, I feel like I got a great deal so I hope you don't low ball your customer. I saw a yard/moving sale on craigslist that listed a pellet stove but no other info. On a long shot I sent an email. The guy called me and said it was a quadrafire with auto ignite and thermostat and 20 bags of pellets for $400. I made him promise to hold it while I drove the hour to get there. What I wound up getting for $400 was the stove, quadrafire thermostat, cast iron water evaporator, 20 bags of appling county pellets, steel pellet bucket with lid, box of 4" exhaust fittings, a spare ignitor, a spare control box???, and a painting my wife liked and I asked if they'd throw in.
  6. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    Sounds like you got one heck of a deal bookpile!!!!! You almost got the Kitchen Sink too!!!!! :) Our customer is wanting around $900. for his stove. We are not Quad dealers but someone that knows them well has said the value is between $800. and $1,000. depending on condition.


    Thanks,

    AR
  7. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Wow, you got a great deal if it works! Sounds like it will work, though. An old door gasket sure won't help the situation as far a vacuum goes. Also, pull out the ash pan and make sure the dump valve on the bottom of the burn pot isn't hanging down too far. You should not have more gap than the thickness of a dime between the pot and the valve/gate on the side opposite the hinge.
  8. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    You can find some great deal at yard sales... good for you!
  9. Havlat24

    Havlat24 New Member

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    Sante Fe is a great stove... we love ours!
  10. bookpile

    bookpile Member

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    Just ran the stove on low and the vacuum switch was still closing, so I wired it back in. Ran the stove on low for a while and it seemed to work fine. I love the thermostat control and can't believe the deal I got on this.
  11. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    Thief!!!!!! :) Enjoy your buy!!!!

    AR
  12. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Why do I only ever HEAR about deals like this but NEVER FIND deals like this??????????????? Maybe someday I'll find that '54 Chevy in a barn somewhere that a little old lady wants to sell for $500 since it's old and only a two seater convertible...................Corvette...........
  13. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    The older quadrafire stoves have CSS, that is Cold Start Syndrome, that I found testing them in my cold winter shed. The problem is that there is not enough vacuum to hold the vacuum switch closed when starting the stove with the heal setting on Lo heat! On med heat or Hi there is no problem because the control box adjust the exhaust fan higher for med and hi heat levels. Quad has a new control box that should make the exhaust fan run at a higher speed during startup on the Lo heat setting. That will indeed fix the problem! Cost is approx $200

    This explains why the vacuum switch was bypassed! ! ! Since this stove must run with a T-Stat and only has Auto-On/Off mode, it is the only way it could be run on low heat!
  14. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    modifying a stove outside of the manufacturer's reccomendations, bypassing safety devices IS NOT Kosher! dangerous
  15. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    this is a pretty old post Don. All Sante Fe models have the newest style CB and would be exempt from any CSS...if that really exists, the model was introduced later to replace the Contour. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  16. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Do you know what year they started putting in the new control box. My year 2000 Quad CB1200 did not have it!

    It looks like from the pic of the new board on the parts site is 11/07

    I have seen an 06 Santa Fe that may not have it! That would definately explain why the vacuum switch is disconnected right?

    Looks like the review here of a brand new Santa Fe in Feb 06, 2006 has the CSS problem!
    Please read this!
    from >> http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/firepl/msg022353445438.html

    We've had our Quadra-Fire Santa Fe
    pelletstove

    for one month already and are quite pleased. We enjoy the warmth of the pellet stove, which is quite different from that of the propane central heating it replaces. The stove took 6 weeks to arrive and was installed by the supplier. It heats a 1600 sq. ft. single story house.
    We've had the repair man out once when the
    stove

    wouldn't start up. The problem was the brain box was loose. There is a trouble shooting section in the manual, but the three reset buttons are difficult to find. The repairman showed us where those buttons are.
    Also, some times the stove doesn't start spitting out pellets when it kicks on. I have to push the reset button then, and it starts up. For this reason, I leave the central heating at 60 when we're away, in case the pellet stove doesn't start. I may call the repair guys again.
    The stove makes a fair amount of noise, which the blowers on most of the time, and the rattling of pellets dropping.
    We've been using about one bag of pellets a day or less, which is great, as our propane bill has been above a $100 a month. That's about $40.00 a month for pellets. The stove cost about $2200, installed with through the wall exhaust and fresh air supply. At that rate, the stove will pay for itself in a year or two.
    Norm

    Attached Files:

  17. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello Again

    Looks like the new control boards just came out around 06 and were being replaced under warranty! Also the air wash was changed after 05 from the top to the bottom of the door so the glass stays clean alot longer.
    So I guess this proves it Scott?
    See > http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/firepl/msg022353445438.html

    Norm,
    We purchased our Santa Fe pellet stove in Jan. 04, and we've had very good results also. The only thing that's sort of a pain, is having to clean out the burnpot and clean the glass once a day, but the pellet stove saves us so much money on our electric bill, it's well worth the effort.
    Tip: Clean your glass every single day - it only takes a few seconds if you clean it daily. And make sure you take out the baffle plate and the 2 cast iron plates about once a month to clean out the ash (the instructions are in your owners manual) - they pull right out, there are no tools required. I'm a fanatic about keeping my stove cleaned, and ours works day in & day out all winter long, and we've only had one problem: the very early control boxes in the Santa Fe had a problem with the capacitors overheating. We had ours replaced for free under warranty, and the newer style control box is clear plastic, with a big metal strap that acts as a heat sink (I'm sure that's the kind of control box yours has). We've never had a problem since.
    Congrats on your new stove!
  18. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    What color is your CB? Clear or gray? I suspect that the vac hose barb is clogged where it connects to the housing on the auger feed tube OR the vac sensor itself is broken. The micro switch on the vac sensors sometime come unglued from the housing and air leaks around the diaphragm.
  19. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    I have a Santa Fe MFD July 05. It is one of the very earliest stoves with the updated bottom feed air wash and clear Control box. Therefore if it is a 2004 MFD it must have the older grey Control Box. Am I right?
  20. Bill P. Stovers

    Bill P. Stovers New Member

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    My Contour runs on HIGH mode only.
    It runs sometimes on medium mode. I think you guys are right about CSS syndrome.

    This stove for many years did run fine on medium. I have cleaned it from top to bottom and is running much better.
    Also replace the vacuum switch.
    If you're trouble shooting a vacuum problem do not blow an air can in the hose toward the vacuum switch. You will blow out the switch! I know this for a fact.

    I plan on adjusting the pot dump plate. I believe it is a little too lose.

    As these stoves get older, soot gets in the void aft of the exhaust fan and before the rear pipe coupling. This is a bear of a place to clean unless you remove the exhaust blower.
  21. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    I sold my Santa Fe for $600 that was well cleaned and fresh paint job. New owner had to put in a new door gasket because the move shifted things enough to screw up the vacuum. Was less than $15 for the gasket kit at the farm store. They were happy to have a good looking stove with autolight and a thermostat. I proved the stove worked by plugging it in and firing it up with the shop temperature below zero.
  22. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Those Santa Fe's are great stoves! I have 2 of them! One for the shed and one for the garage!
  23. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Stovers, CSS is BS IMHO....... :p If it 'used' to work OK, then it suddenly doesn't get CSS Syndrome. Something changed. These stoves have a lot of variables that affect how they run. Length of pellets and pellet density are often overlooked as a cause of problems. If you have the feed gate set for small pellets and you get a bag of longer pellets, suddenly you are feeding less lbs/hr and either it doesn't get enough pellets to start or the heat is less than you expected. That's just one example of how some people can blame CSS as a viable cause of problems.
    DexterDay likes this.
  24. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    The feed screw maybe motor friendly but still has its idiosyncrasies. The room air fan could use some help too. Loose brain box happens alot. All simple problems that are listed here in some post or other. I got rid of mine because I did not need it to backup the Bixby.
    tjnamtiw likes this.
  25. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Yea, they have their quirks but they're all little ones that are pretty easy to troubleshoot if you have some skills and patience AND make one change at a time! If I had the room, I would have had a Bixby too. High efficiency and I love the computer interface capability. Too bad they went belly up.
    DexterDay likes this.

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